Soy checkoff investments in renewable energy are supporting growing demand for sustainable aviation fuel. Matt Herman, National Biodiesel Board Environmental Science Director, says sustainable aviation fuel is a clean substitute for fossil fuels used in jet fuel that can deliver the same performance with 80 percent less emissions.
“This is really important as about a third of U.S. emissions come from transportation and about ten percent of that is from jet fuel alone,” he says. “On top of that there’s significant health benefits associated with this fuel. About 10 percent of the U.S. population lives within ten miles of the top 23 airports. Replacing fossil jet fuel with a sustainable alternative can really slash those cancer-causing pollutants that come out of these jet engines.”
The jet fuel market demand is 25 billion gallons in the U.S. and 100 billion gallons globally.
“It’s really a huge market and we see more and more commitments every day to offtake renewable jet fuel,” says Herman. “That’s just really a reflection that the airlines have no near, medium and potentially long-term solution to go electric like other modes of transportation. Recently we see groups like United, Southwest and others have announced offtakes in the billions of gallons to replace their fossil jet fuel going forward.”
Herman says biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel all support demand for U.S. soybeans.
“Continued demand for all of these fuels is going to power U.S. soy, as about 50 percent of the raw material we currently use to make these fuels comes from soybeans,” he says, “We’ve even seen that this demand side pull that we’re experiencing is influencing the agricultural markets. We’ve seen about ten new crush facilities announced across the United States that’s going to help fulfill this demand. Without the support of the checkoff and the farmers to support this industry over the last 20 years and grow to where we are today, we just wouldn’t be here.”
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